NEW YORK (WETM) – More than $373 million in home heating aid is becoming available for low and middle-income New Yorkers in need of assistance keeping their homes warm during the winter.
Applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, open Friday, October 1 for homeowners and renters to assist with heating costs.
HEAP may be able to help you if you heat your home with:
- Natural Gas
- Wood/Wood Pellets
“For so many New Yorkers, the cost of heating during the cold weather season is a major expense that can really strain their household budget,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The Home Energy Assistance Program is welcome relief for these individuals and families as winter beckons, ensuring they can heat their homes through the frigid months ahead.”
Eligible homeowners and renters may receive up to $751 in heating assistance, depending on their income, household size and how they heat their home. A family of four may have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,249 or an annual gross income of $62,983 and still qualify for benefits.
Applications for assistance are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone, with funding provided on a first-come, first-served basis. A list of local offices by county can be found here. Residents outside of New York City may also apply online for regular heating assistance benefits. New York City residents may download an application and obtain program information here.
Last spring, the state Legislature extended a moratorium that prevents utility companies from disconnecting utilities to residential households that are struggling with their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utility companies must instead offer these individuals a deferred payment agreement on any past-due balance.
The law extended the moratorium for 180 days after New York’s state of emergency declaration ended in June. That means utility companies may resume residential disconnections for nonpayment starting in late December, making this season’s assistance from HEAP is even more timely this year.
New Yorkers who receive HEAP assistance this season and continue to fall behind on their utility bills or are running short on heating fuel may also qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting Jan. 3.
Anyone in need of emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services. To qualify for these federally funded programs, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income guidelines, which vary by household size.